Tag Archives: Georgia Architecture

Live Oak Missionary Baptist Church, Ailey

This congregation was founded on 19 May 1891. It’s located adjacent to Ailey’s historic Rosenwald School and has been an integral part of the local African-American community throughout its history.

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Filed under --MONTGOMERY COUNTY GA--, Ailey GA

Central Hallway Cottage, 1885, Brunswick

Brunswick Old Town Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --GLYNN COUNTY GA--, Brunswick GA

Midway C.M.E. Church, 1897, Thomasville

My friend, the photographer Mandy Green Yates, has found and documented numerous forgotten places in South Georgia in recent years but when she found this church, she decided to get involved with saving part of its history. At first, she was fascinated by the structure but soon realized the forlorn cemetery was even more important. While photographing the property, she met Aundre Walker, who has connections to the congregation and has been working to clean up the property and the cemetery with no outside help for at least three years. Mandy put her principles to practice and has been helping with the cleanup ever since. She created a Facebook page to schedule volunteers, as well as a GoFundMe page for donations. And apparently, the project is moving along quite successfully, with lots of volunteers and progress being made. I am amazed at what she and Mr. Walker have been able to accomplish.

The congregation was established by recently emancipated freedmen just after the Civil War and became associated with the Christian Methodist Episcopal sect in the early 1870s. Like many white churches, it got its start in a brush arbor or “hush arbor” in the parlance of African-Americans of the time. This indicated a private place for worship, away from whites who often monitored their activities. It also served the community as a school for a time.

The church itself is typical of the construction of the late-19th and early-20th centuries. The congregation officially disbanded about 15 years ago and many members joined nearby churches.

As is evident in this image, the steeple has long ago been compromised by the loss of its roof and has begun to collapse.

Though the cemetery remains the primary focus, it would be nice if the church could be saved, as well. Unfortunately, the area it is located in is undergoing rapid urbanization.

When I looked around the cemetery, I could only imagine the sadness and determination Aundre Walker felt when he decided to begin the reclamation. The grounds are quite large and looked nothing like this three years ago. It would have looked more like a forest than a graveyard.

Doing all of this work by hand has been a labor of love and a means of respecting the lives of those who would have otherwise been forgotten had he not taken on this project. I’m sure he is grateful for the new attention that Mandy Green Yates has brought to the work, though neither of these people is doing it for praise or recognition. In my opinion, they deserve it.

Most of the graves weren’t previously documented, but Mandy enlisted help from our friend Cynthia Jennings, who added the known burials to Findagrave.

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Filed under --THOMAS COUNTY GA--, Thomasville GA

Robert Byrd Wright, Jr., House, 1961, Moultrie

This imposing villa was built by the nationally-renowned Moultrie architect William Frank McCall, Jr., for his friend Robert Byrd “Brother” Wright, Jr. It is more than just an unusually formal home for South Georgia; its facade was rescued from the old Paramount Theatre, an Atlanta landmark designed by the great classicist Philip Trammell Shutze. The Paramount, which opened in 1920 as the Howard Theatre, was demolished in 1960. A wonderful book about the house and its quirky history, Twice Told Tales of a Southern Palazzo, was written by McCall’s nephew, John Clark McCall, Jr. John has been a delightful correspondent and very helpful in sharing the legacy of his uncle Frank.

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Filed under --COLQUITT COUNTY GA--, Moultrie GA

McCaw-Massee House, 1901, Macon

This Beaux-Arts landmark [also known as the Crisco House] was designed by Macon architect Alexander Blair III for Wallace Eugene McCaw, Sr., president of the Macon Manufacturing Company, an oil and soap concern. During his time at Macon Manufacturing Company, Mr. McCaw invented a hydrogenated vegetable-based shortening which he marketed locally as Plantene. The formula was purchased by Procter and Gamble in 1910 and the product name was changed to Crisco. Mr. McCaw sold the house at this time and went on to a career as a vice-president at Procter and Gamble in Cincinnati. He died in 1933 while boating near his summer home at Diamond Point, New York, on Lake George, An autopsy determined that he had a heart attack and fell into the water.

The buyer of the house was W. Jordan Massee, a larger-than-life Macon character known as Big Jordan. Massee was a good friend of playwright Tennessee Williams and Big Daddy in the play was purportedly based on Massee. When Massee sold the house it was divided into apartments. After many years of decline, it was purchased and restored in 2013.

Macon Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --BIBB COUNTY GA--, Macon GA

Callaway-Porter House, 1905, Macon

This Classical Revival home is thought to have been designed by Curran R. Ellis for Merrel P. Callaway (26 November 1872-16 June 1957). Ellis may be best known in Macon as the architect of the Bibb County Courthouse. James & Olive Porter purchased the home in 1919 and commissioned an interior redesign from Neel Reid.

Macon Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --BIBB COUNTY GA--, Macon GA

DuBignon-Brown House, Circa 1850, Milledgeville

A review of available sources, including The Architecture of Middle Georgia: The Oconee Area and The History of Baldwin County, date this house to circa 1850. (A sign on the property dates it to 1820*). The first name associated with the house is that of Fleming Grantland DuBignon. Mr. DuBignon was a grandson of Seaton Grantland, founder of the Milledgeville Recorder newspaper (which survives today as the Union-Recorder) and longtime owner of Woodville Plantation, and a great-grandson of early Jekyll Island settler and French immigrant Christophe Poulain DuBignon (du Bignon).

Later owners included the Brown, Moore, Arcangeli, and Sisson families.

*-It’s possible that further research has determined the 1820 date, but I am unaware of it.

Milledgeville Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --BALDWIN COUNTY GA--, Milledgeville GA

Frank Bone House, 1921, Milledgeville

Frank Bone was the owner of the Oconee Clay Products, a commercial pipe and fitting manufacturer which operated from 1908-1979. He built this house in 1921, inspired by a house in Surrey, England. It is a landmark of the Tudor Revival style and after serving for a time as the Georgia College Alumni House, it is again a private residence.

Milledgeville Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --BALDWIN COUNTY GA--, Milledgeville GA

Genie Andrews House, 1890s, Milledgeville

This Folk Victorian cottage in the Eddy neighborhood was purchased by Eugene James, a hardware deliveryman and laborer, in 1893. Upon his death, it became the home of his daughter, Genie James Andrews, who taught at the Eddy School with Sallie Ellis Davis. Mrs. Andrews was also a noted piano teacher.

Milledgeville Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --BALDWIN COUNTY GA--, Milledgeville GA

Sallie Ellis Davis House, 1890, Milledgeville

The Sallie Ellis Davis House serves as the de facto anchor of the Eddy Neighborhood, an historic African-American community of late 19th and early 20th century Milledgeville. Through a cooperative effort of Georgia College and the Sallie Ellis Davis Foundation, restoration of the house began in 2009 and was completed in 2012.

Sallie Ellis Davis was born in Baldwin County in 1877 to an Irish immigrant father (Josh Ellis) and an African-American woman (Elizabeth Brunswick). Josh Ellis was a prominent landowner, businessman, and gentleman farmer. After graduating from Atlanta University in 1899 she returned home and began teaching at the Eddy School, where she would remain until her retirement in 1949. She served as principal for 27 years. After her death, Baldwin County honored her legacy by naming an elementary school for her.

In 1910, Sallie Ellis moved into this house in the Eddy Neighborhood, and in 1911 she married John (Jack) Davis. Mr. Davis died in 1920 but Sallie remained in the home until her death in 1950.

The house is open for historic tours today.

Milledgeville Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --BALDWIN COUNTY GA--, Milledgeville GA